Put your garden hose to good use with cleaning helpers you already have on hand — or that you can find at the dollar store. No need for spending hours buffing and shining. We have a trick for making it look like you just drove it off the dealer's lot. And if you've never attempted washing your car before (we've been there!), check out the following tips and tricks for a really sweet ride.
What You'll Need:
- Large bucket
- Car wash mitt or microfiber cloth
- Dish soap
- Hair conditioner
- Dry hand towel
- Move your car to a shaded area, and give it a good dousing of water. Washing your car in the sun can cause streaks from the cleaners drying in the hot sun. Fill the bucket with water, and add a teaspoon of dish soap. You don't need a ton of soap, and the small amount helps break up gunk and dirt while being gentle on your paint job.
- Apply the sudsy water to your car with long strokes, moving horizontally using a car wash mitt or microfiber cloth. Avoid working in a circular motion, which can cause swirl marks on your beloved vehicle. Dunk the mitt in the bucket often to remove dirt. And if you find the soapy water is getting really dirty, then dump it, and start fresh with a new bucket.
- Once one side of your car is sudsy, give it a rinse, which keeps the soapy water from sitting on your car and drying — resulting in having to wash the car all over again. Continue washing in sections until the car is completely clean.
- Now dump the soapy water, and rinse the bucket with water, ensuring there isn't any dirt or sand in the bottom of the container. Fill the bucket with two cups of water, and mix with 1/2 cup hair conditioner, which you can pick up at the dollar store. Use a clean microfiber cloth to smooth over your car. We left one side of our car untreated to see if using conditioner really made a difference.
- After covering the entire vehicle with the conditioner water, hose down your car, and enjoy the shine! Finish by drying with a clean hand towel, and your car will be as good as new. Our unconditioned side was left alone to air dry, resulting in visible water marks. Yay for conditioner!
- For a really sparkling vehicle, give your tires a good cleaning , and hang a cute DIY car freshener  from your rearview mirror.
Want more smart car tips? Check out our collection of car DIYs .